Integrated Knowledge Translation Toolkit for Open Research

The Integrated Knowledge Translation (IKT) is an approach to knowledge translation that emphasises working in an engaged and collaborative partnership with stakeholders throughout the research cycle in order to have positive real-world impact. 

What kind of an organisation are you in the context of the Concordat?

Established in 1881, the University of Dundee is a leading public research-intensive institution known for excellence in research and teaching, particularly in life sciences, dentistry, and law. It hosts prestigious research centres like the Dundee Drug Discovery Unit and Leverhulme Research Centre for Forensic Science. Retaining the HR Excellence in Research Award since 2011, the University actively adheres to the Principles of the Researcher Development Concordat, proudly signing the revised Concordat.

What challenge were you trying to address with this initiative?

The Open Research initiative and Integrated Knowledge Translation (IKT) toolkit addressed limited access to research findings. Funded by the University’s Researcher Development Awards, the IKT toolkit offers practical guidance for knowledge mobilisation throughout the research process, aiming for an integrated, participatory approach to knowledge generation.

What did you do and how does this align with the Principles and keywords you have selected below?

The University’s research initiative developed an Open Research strategy and an Integrated Knowledge Translation (IKT) toolkit. The toolkit, co-produced for any discipline or sector, includes eight knowledge briefs and a slide deck, providing practical guidance for an IKT process in eight research stages, fostering knowledge mobilisation and stakeholder involvement.

This initiative aligns with the Researcher Development Concordat’s obligation to consistently assess and report on the research environment and culture, actively seeking feedback from researchers, and utilising the outcomes to enhance institutional practices.

It does this through:

Open research: The University’s initiative aims to make research outputs, data, and other products publicly available, emphasising transparency, accessibility, and reproducibility.

Stakeholder involvement: The research initiative involves patients, the public, and decision-makers throughout the research process.

Knowledge mobilisation: Providing guidance on implementing knowledge mobilisation activities and promoting an integrated, participatory approach to knowledge production.

Evidence-informed: Based on a focused evidence review and synthesis of peer-reviewed and grey literature, emphasising evidence-based decisions and actions.

Collaboration: Fostering collaborative partnerships among researchers, practitioners, and knowledge users to co-generate new, accessible knowledge.

The research stage briefs for the resource can be downloaded from theUniversity’s Discovery Portal.

What were the challenges in implementation and how did you resolve them?

Resistance to change: Address through awareness-raising and stakeholder involvement training.

Lack of resources: Address by providing funding and training, encouraging stakeholder involvement in proposals, and including funding for these activities in grants.

Difficulty finding appropriate stakeholders: Address through partnerships, involving organisations and communities, and utilising existing PPI groups.

Communication barriers: Address by developing communication plans tailored to stakeholders’ preferences.

Overall, commitment to stakeholder involvement and knowledge mobilisation can be achieved through ongoing training, support, and resources.

How did you evaluate the impact of your initiative?

To comprehensively evaluate the toolkit’s effectiveness, we employed the following methods, gaining valuable insights into the initiative’s impact, identifying areas for improvement, and enabling evidence-based decisions for future developments:

Stakeholder surveys: Gathering feedback from researchers, practitioners, patients, and the public on effectiveness and usefulness.

Usage tracking: Monitoring the uptake and engagement.

Outcome analysis: Assessing the impact of stakeholder involvement and knowledge mobilisation on research outcomes.

Case studies: Conducting in-depth case studies of research projects that used the IKT toolkit to understand benefits and challenges.

External evaluations: Assessment from independent evaluators or external organisations to evaluate effectiveness.

Comparative analysis: Comparing research outcomes and impact between projects that implemented the toolkit and those that did not.

Were there any surprising or unexpected consequences?

Yes, the breadth and diversity of interest in the resource. All of the principles can be applied across the entire research community.

What advice would you give others wanting to do this?

  • Involve stakeholders from the beginning to ensure their needs are considered.
  • Conduct a needs assessment to tailor the initiative to specific contexts.
  • Develop clear goals and objectives aligned with relevant principles.
  • Co-design the toolkit with stakeholders for practicality and relevance.
  • Provide training and ongoing support to build capacity.
  • Regularly evaluate the initiative and adapt based on findings.

More information about this practice example:

Beneficiaries: Research staff Postgraduate researchers Research and teaching staff Clinicians Managers of researchers Professional support staff

Stakeholders: Researchers Professional staff

Concordat principles: Environment and culture Professional and career development

Keywords: Citizen Participation Education Participatory Planning Collaboration Inclusion